Post-doctoral fellowship on causal inference in big-data health research

Onderwijs- en onderzoeksondersteuning
Uren per week: 
36 tot 40
Faculteit of dienst: 
Faculteit Diergeneeskunde
Uiterlijk reageren op: 


We are offering an exciting postdoctoral position embedded in Exposome-NL and MyDigiTwin projects. These projects are dedicated to develop a suite of tools that will support personalized intervention for cardiovascular health. Relevant tools include artificial intelligence solutions to monitor cardiovascular health state and exposure to environmental and lifestyle factors, estimated prognosis and expected benefits of (life style) interventions. The candidate will work on simulated and empirical data to develop and apply state-of-the-art methods for causal inference, dimension reduction, and risk prediction. You will have access to (inter)national databases such as EPIC, NTR, lifelines, prevend, UK biobank, and the Rotterdam study, collecting information on new and traditional environment and life style factors, imaging, genomics and metabolomics.


Candidates with the following skills are especially encouraged to apply: 

  • experience in statistical analyses/machine learning with Python and R;
  • understanding of causal inference (e.g. counter factuals), with application to longitudinal settings such as marginal structural modelling;
  • knowledge of preprocessing and matching in high-dimensional data settings;
  • experience with Linux, Unix or (the bash) shell is appreciated;
  • qualities, which include being motivated, communicative and resourceful, an effective independent worker, and a collaborative team member. You are willing to travel, have an appropriate publication record and are willing to apply for grant funding.


We offer a position (1.0 FTE) for a period of one year. In case of a good performance, extending the employment is one of the possibilities. The gross salary - depending on previous qualifications and experience  - ranges between €2,709 and €4,274 (scale 10 according to the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities) per month for a full-time employment. Salaries are supplemented with a holiday bonus of 8% and a year-end bonus of 8.3% per year. In addition, Utrecht University offers excellent secondary conditions, including the choice for a good balance between work and private, an attractive retirement scheme, (partly paid) parental leave and flexible employment conditions (multiple choice model). More information about working at Utrecht University can be found here.

Over de organisatie

A better future for everyone. This ambition motivates our scientists in executing their leading research and inspiring teaching. At Utrecht University, the various disciplines collaborate intensively towards major societal themes. Our focus is on Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences and Sustainability.

The Faculty of Veterinary Medicine has a unique position in the Netherlands. Not only is this the only institution where Veterinarians are trained, but it is also where Researchers are working together on innovative scientific research. In addition, the faculty provides specialist clinical care in the largest academic veterinary hospital in Europe. Thanks to this position, the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine is a point of contact for all veterinary matters, both nationally and increasingly internationally. The faculty employs approximately 900 veterinarians, scientists and support staff and counts 1,500 students.

The postdoctoral position will be supervised by two groups.

The UMC Utrecht is a leading international academic medical center where knowledge on health, illness and care is generated, evaluated, shared and applied for the benefit of patients and society. The heart & lungs division is an integral part of the UMC Utrecht. This project is supervised by Professor F. W. Asselbergs, Dr A. F. Schmidt, and Dr D Oberski.

IRAS is an inter-facultary research institute within the Faculties Veterinary Medicine, and Medicine of Utrecht University. Its mission is to provide education and research on the human and environmental health risks of exposure to potentially harmful agents in the environment where research takes place within the domains of Toxicology, Environmental Epidemiology and Veterinary Public Health.

This project is supervised by Professor R.C.H. Vermeulen, Dr Bellavia, and Dr Vlaanderen.

Aanvullende informatie

For more information about this position, please contact:
Dr J. Vlaanderen (Assistant Professor), via


Everyone deserves to feel at home at our university. We welcome employees with a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives. To apply, please send your curriculum vitae, including a letter of motivation via the ‘apply’ button below.

Due to the coronavirus, interviews will be conducted by video calling and not in person.

Uiterlijk reageren op 11 juli 2020.